Vandal: Angie YooJin Kim of StudioYooJ
Weaving with Angie Kim
Brooklyn Based TEXTILE DESIGNER
Text: Spencer Ahn
Photos: Kate Kim
For our latest capsule collection (released November 8, 2018), we collaborated with Textile Designer and fellow RISD graduate, Angie YooJin Kim. To learn more about her about her creative process, we paid a visit to her Brooklyn based studio where she demonstrated the incredible techniques behind our new “Street Dog” Sweatshirts.
Angie YooJin Kim
What have you been working on lately?
I am currently working on a collection of double woven textiles that allow me to use a variety of materials which are being developed in conjunction with technique where I am able to insert another material into the woven itself. I felt restricted weaving strictly using yarns so when I discovered this technique I realized this was a way to open up more opportunities to work with other materials such as plastic or metal. Ultimately I hope to show these woven textiles in gallery settings and to fashion companies that are interested in working with custom textiles.
How did you discover your interest in textiles?
During my junior year in High School, I had an art teacher, a RISD graduate who had majored in Textiles. When I had expressed my interest to her about going into art school, she showed me her thesis project from RISD which was an animation made with woven fabrics.
When I started RISD, I remembered that particular experience and when it became time to declare our major I definitely wanted to explore Textiles. When I visited the studios and saw the Jacquard Industrial loom, I became extremely fascinated with the use of innovation of industrial technology being used to elevate a traditional technique and decided to pursue textile for my undergraduate studies.
How does your background/upbringing influence your creative process?
I’m definitely heavily influenced by my family. My mother studied music composition and my father’s side of the family is involved in leather manufacturing so there was always some sort of creative influence in my life. Going to RISD has definitely been the most influential part of my creative process. Learning to critique myself and learning to simplify and minimize my ideas has been such an invaluable skill that I gained during my time at school. I realize now looking back, my earlier works were a lot more convoluted and had too much materials, colors, textures. After RISD, I feel like I learned how to balance my composition, what is important and what should stand out and what should be taken out.
What are your biggest influences?
My biggest influence currently stems from the idea of juxtaposition. Whether they are opposing or similar, I have always found interest in materials, worlds or cultures clashing together. The past few years I have been exploring double woven fabrics and working on developing techniques to elevate my textiles. Double woven fabrics occur when two layers of warp come together to create two fabrics at the same time. I feel like this technique really allows me to explore that concept of juxtaposition because it allows me to bring two materials or ideas whether they are complementary or contrasting together to create something balanced and cohesive.
Could you tell us more about the collaboration between your studio and Khoman Room?
For the collaboration with Khoman Room, Spencer and I started off exploring different techniques and ideas that we were currently working with. When we started the collaboration, Khoman Room had already been developing some bleaching techniques for their garments. I was coincidentally also working on another project where I developed different bleach treatments for denim garments and the techniques seemed to translate very well for the collaboration. The resist technique itself stems from a Shibori dyeing technique that I learned while at RISD. This technique isn’t necessarily Shibori but it is derivative from it as it is uses resist dyeing to create the pattern.
What part of the creative process is the most exciting?
Well it depends… It’s never one thing that gets me excited. Whenever I have a great idea I get excited writing it down. When I begin discovering which materials to use to execute the idea that is also exciting. When I actually start weaving and see the composition being formed that is especially exciting. Even documenting and uploading photos of the work online is exciting! I also think collaborating with other individuals is one of the most exciting parts of being a creative.
"Collaboration is impossible without the efforts of All collaboratorS"